Anna Stanislavovna Shcherbakova (Russian: Анна Станиславовна Щербакова, IPA: [ˈanːə ɕːɪrbɐˈkovə], born 28 March 2004) is a Russian figure skater. She is the 2021 World champion, the 2020 European silver medalist, the 2019 Grand Prix Final silver medalist, the 2019 Skate America champion, the 2019 Cup of China champion, the 2019 CS Lombardia Trophy champion, and a three-time Russian national champion (2019–21). She is currently the highest ranked women's singles skater in the world by the International Skating Union following the 2020–21 figure skating season.
|Native name||Анна Станиславовна Щербакова (Russian)|
|Full name||Anna Stanislavovna Shcherbakova|
|Born||28 March 2004|
|Height||1.59 m (5 ft 2+1⁄2 in)|
|Former coach||Oksana Bulycheva|
|Skating club||Sambo 70|
|ISU personal best scores|
2021 World Team Trophy
2021 World Team Trophy
2019–20 Grand Prix Final
On the junior level, Shcherbakova is the 2019 World Junior silver medalist, the 2018 JGP Slovakia champion, the 2018 JGP Canada champion, the 2019 European Youth Olympic Winter Festival champion, and the 2019 Russian junior national bronze medalist. She currently has the third highest free skating score of any lady – 162.65 points.
Shcherbakova is the first senior woman to land a quad Lutz. Additionally, in 2019 she became the first woman to land two quad Lutz jumps in a program, with one done in combination with a triple toe loop. Shcherbakova has also landed a quad flip in domestic competition at the 2019 Russian Figure Skating Championships.
Shcherbakova was born in Moscow on 28 March 2004 to parents Stanislav and Julia. She has one older sister Inna, and one younger sister Yana. In 2007, at age three, Shcherbakova began learning to skate under Oksana Bulycheva at the Khrustalnyi rink of the Olympic Reserve Sports School no. 37 (later renamed "Sambo 70") in Moscow. While still in high school, Shcherbakova has indicated an interest in going to university and specializing in Physical Education.
In an interview on Russian television following the 2021 World Championships, Shcherbakova stated her admiration for the figure skating technique of Nathan Chen after she received a surprise birthday cake from him at the closing program of the ISU championships at her 17th birthday following the competition.
Shcherbakova won gold at the 2016 Russian Youth Championships – Younger Age. She missed the 2017 Russian Junior Championships, held in February, after breaking her arm. Returning to competition, she won the silver medal at the 2017 Russian Youth Championships – Younger Age in March.
In the summer of 2017, Shcherbakova broke her leg while performing a triple loop in combination at a training camp. As a result, she missed most of the 2017–18 season, including her planned Junior Grand Prix debut. She placed thirteenth at the 2018 Russian Junior Championships.
Shcherbakova debuted internationally on the Junior Grand Prix circuit in August. She was assigned to events in Slovakia and Canada. At JGP Slovakia, she was ranked first in both the short program and the free skate and won the gold medal by a margin of more than 18 points over the silver medalist, her fellow Russian competitor Anna Tarusina. Her scores at this competition were among the highest scores achieved in an international junior ladies competition after teammate Alexandra Trusova in the short program, and Trusova and teammate Alena Kostornaia in the free program.
At JGP Canada, Shcherbakova was again ranked first in both the short program and the free skate and won the gold medal by a margin of about 5 points over the silver medalist, her former teammate Anastasia Tarakanova. With two gold medals on the Junior Grand Prix, she qualified for the 2018–19 Junior Grand Prix Final. At the Final, Shcherbakova placed last in the short program after falling on her attempted double Axel and stepping out of a triple Lutz, missing her combination. In the free program, she fell on both quad attempts, placing fifth there and overall. Speaking afterward, Shcherbakova said she "really wanted to land my quad Lutzes, but I couldn't do them cleanly and I fell, so I'll try to do it next time."
At the 2019 Russian Championships, Shcherbakova placed fifth in the short program and first in the free skate, winning the national title over Trusova by 0.07 points. Shcherbakova said it was "very unexpected for me to win and I still haven't realized what just happened."
Later in December, Shcherbakova competed at the 2019 Russian Junior National Championships where she was expected to vie for the title again with her teammates Trusova and Kostornaia. After placing second in the short program and third in the free, Shcherbakova ended up with the bronze medal behind Trusova and Kostornaia. In the free program, Shcherbakova attempted a quad Lutz jump but fell.
In March, Shcherbakova was selected by the Russian Figure Skating Federation to compete at the 2019 Junior World Championships in Zagreb, Croatia, alongside Alexandra Trusova and Ksenia Sinitsyna. She took first place after the short program ahead of Trusova after receiving a score of 72.86. In the free program, she landed her quad Lutz jump with a minor error in the landing position, getting a negative grade of execution. The score of 147.08 was the highest she had ever attained at an international competition, but was not enough to overtake her training mate who had landed two quad jumps in the free program. Shcherbakova took the silver medal.
In September, Shcherbakova entered her first international senior competition in Italy at the ISU Challenger Series event, the 2019 Lombardia Trophy. After the short program, she was in third place behind Elizaveta Tuktamysheva and You Young. Her free program saw her become the first woman to land a quadruple Lutz in senior competition, ensuring the gold medal in her senior debut.
Shcherbakova made her ISU Grand Prix debut at the 2019 Skate America, where she won the gold medal after placing fourth in the short program and first in the free skate. At this competition she became the first ever lady to land two quadruple Lutz jumps in free skating in an international competition, and the first ever lady to land a quadruple Lutz and triple jump combination in an international competition. In the free skate she became the second lady behind Alexandra Trusova to achieve a score above 160 points under the current GOE system when she scored her personal best score of 160.16 points, only about three points short of Trusova's world record. Shcherbakova also set new records for the highest valued single jump, earning 14.79 points for her quadruple Lutz, and for the highest valued jump combinations, when she earned 18.66 points for her quad Lutz-triple toe loop combination. Shcherbakova went on to win her second event, the 2019 Cup of China, albeit by a smaller margin.
Shcherbakova's results qualified her for the Grand Prix Final in Torino, where she placed third in the short program. In the free skate, she landed two quad Lutzes (one deemed underrotated) and attempted, but fell on, the quad flip for the first time. She nevertheless placed first in the free skate, and won the silver medal overall behind Alena Kostornaia.
At the 2020 Russian Championships, Shcherbakova skated cleanly to place second in the short program behind Kostornaia, who was ten points ahead going into the free skate. Shcherbakova then won the free skate, landing two quad Lutzes and the quad flip for the first time, and won her second national title by just under two points overall. She also outscored senior men's champion Dmitri Aliev despite ladies' scoring having only four-fifths of the value of men's component scores.
Shcherbakova competed at the 2020 European Championships, delivering a clean short program skate to place second. In the free skate, Shcherbakova landed the quad Lutz-triple toe loop combination to start, followed by a quad flip. However, she fell on the second planned quad Lutz. Despite the fall, she placed first in the free skate, and settled for an overall silver medal behind teammate Kostornaia. Together with Kostornaia and other teammate Trusova who took the bronze, the trio made for an all Russian podium at the ladies event. The three were assigned to compete at the World Championships in Montreal, but those were cancelled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Subsequent coaching changes by Trusova and Kostornaia resulted in Shcherbakova temporarily being the only one of the trio still training at the Sambo-70 rink under Tutberidze, until Kostornaia returned in March 2021.
2020–2021 season: World championEdit
Shcherbakova debuted both of her programs at the Russian senior test skates, overcoming a difficult practice session to deliver a free skate with only a fall on her quad Lutz attempt, which she called "a good starting point." In August it was announced that Shcherbakova would compete in the first and third stages of the 2020–21 Russian Cup series. She won the first stage in Syzran with a score of 246.40 and the third stage in Sochi with 239.91 points.
She was assigned, as with other prominent Russian skaters, to the 2020 Rostelecom Cup after the ISU decided to base the Grand Prix primarily on geographic location. However, she withdrew on the day of the event due to illness, later revealed to be pneumonia.
After recovering from pneumonia, Shcherbakova had somewhat limited ability to train in advance of the 2021 Russian Championships. She won the short program with a score of 80.31, ahead of fellow Sambo-70 skater Kamila Valieva. In the free skate she landed both a quad Lutz and a quad flip, and won that segment with a 183.79 score, with Valieva the silver medalist and Trusova taking the bronze medal. Shcherbakova became the first woman to win three consecutive Russian titles since Irina Slutskaya from 1999 to 2001. She was assigned to the Russian team for the 2021 World Championships in Stockholm.
Prior to the World Championships, Shcherbakova participated in the televised 2021 Channel One Trophy as part of the Red Machine team captained by Alina Zagitova. She placed second in both segments of the competition, and the Red Machine won the trophy. She opted not to participate in the Russian Cup Final.
Heading into the World Championships, Shcherbakova was considered one of the frontrunners for the World title alongside Trusova and Rika Kihira of Japan. In the short program, Shcherbakova skated a personal best for the ladies short program, scoring 81.00 to place first ahead of Kihira. She then placed second in the free program with a score of 152.17 points in spite of falling during the execution of one of her quad jumps, within one point of Trusova's 152.38 points. Shcherbakova then won the competition due to her combined totals to become the world champion. Shcherbakova, Elizaveta Tuktamysheva and Trusova's podium placements made this only the second time, after the United States in 1991, that a single country had swept the ladies' podium at the World Championships. Shcherbakova and silver medalist Tuktamysheva's podium placements qualified three berths for Russian ladies at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.
Shcherbakova competed as part of the Russian team for the 2021 World Team Trophy in April, winning the short program on the opening day within one point ahead of Russian teammate Elizaveta Tuktamysheva. She finished in first place with her combined totals after the free skate and won a gold medal with Russia.
In August 2021, Shcherbakova received her Grand Prix assignments for the season to the 2021 Internationaux de France and the 2021 Grand Prix of Italy (formerly the 2021 Cup of China)  She debuted her Olympic season programs at the 2021 Russian test skate event in September, and later opened her competitive season in October at the 2021 Budapest Trophy. At the Budapest Trophy, Shcherbakova led the short program, but was later overtaken in the free skate by training-mate Maiia Khromykh after falling on her opening quad flip and receiving a number of edge and quarter calls. She placed second in the free skate to finish narrowly behind Khromykh and take the silver medal overall. It was announced that Shcherbakova would be competing for the 2021-2022 Grand Prix and is scheduled to compete for the Internationaux de France in Grenoble on 19-21 November. She is scheduled to compete alongside teammates Kosternaia and Sinitskaya. Currently, Shcherbakova is not scheduled to compete at three of the other engagements of the Grand Prix, with other teammates currently scheduled for competing in Las Vegas, Vancouver, and Tokyo prior to the Grand Prix competition in Grenoble. 
Shcherbakova's skating has been distinguished by her high consistency in the performance of her skating programs, and she is the first woman since Irina Slutskaya in 2001 to win three Russian national titles. Her performances and technique are also highlighted by her ability to consistently land quad jumps in the form of quad Lutz and quad flip jumps as part of the Tutberidze skating team in Moscow. Shcherbakova's quad jumping ability is often compared to those of her Tutberidze teammates Kamila Valieva and Alexandra Trusova. Former Olympic gold medalist Tara Lipinski made positive comments concerning the skating technique of Shcherbakova, commenting on "her incredible consistency and tenacity she's shown throughout this season" leading up to the 2021 World Championships.
In March 2020, Shcherbakova signed a contract with Nike to represent their products and sportswear. She has been featured in Nike video advertisements speaking English and promoting exercise techniques using the catchphrase "break it down", while wearing a silver Nike workout suit and, separately, t-shirts with the Nike logo.
Records and achievementsEdit
- Set the junior-level ladies' record of the new +5 / -5 GOE (Grade of Execution) system for the combined total (205.39 points), short program (73.18 points) and free program (132.21 points) at the 2018 JGP Slovakia. Her free program record was broken by Russian teammate Alena Kostornaia at the 2018 JGP Austria on 1 September 2018 with 132.42 points. Her short program record was broken by Russian teammate Alexandra Trusova at the 2018 JGP Lithuania on 6 September 2018 with 74.74 points.
- Landed a ratified quadruple Lutz in her first senior international competition at the 2019 CS Lombardia Trophy. Shcherbakova is the first senior lady to land a quadruple Lutz, and the second overall to land a quadruple jump, after training mate Elizabet Tursynbaeva of Kazakhstan.
- Set the new record for the highest valued single jump when she earned 14.03 points for her quadruple Lutz at the 2019 CS Lombardia Trophy.
- Became the first lady to land two quad Lutz jumps in one program in ISU sanctioned international competition at the 2019 Skate America. At this competition she also became the first lady to land quad Lutz and a triple jump combination in international competition.
- Became the second lady behind Alexandra Trusova to score above 160 points in free skating under the current GOE system at the 2019 Skate America.
- Set the new record for the highest valued single jump when she earned 14.79 points for her quadruple Lutz at the 2019 Skate America. At this competition she also set the new record for the highest valued jump combination when she earned 18.66 points for her 4Lz+3T combination.
- Broke her own record for the highest valued jump combination when she earned 19.31 points for her 4Lz+3T combination at the 2020 European Championships.
|Season||Short program||Free skating||Exhibition|
|GP Skate America||1st|
|GP Cup of China||1st||C|
|Russian Junior Champ.||WD||13th||3rd|
|Russian Cup Final||1st J|
|World Team Trophy||1st T
| TBD = Assigned; WD = Withdrew; C = Event cancelled|
Levels: J = Junior
T = Team result; P = Personal result. Medals awarded for team result only.
Small medals for short and free programs awarded only at ISU Championships. Personal bests highlighted in bold.
|19–21 November 2021||2021 Internationaux de France||
|5–7 November 2021||2021 Grand Prix of Italy||
|14–17 October 2021||2021 Budapest Trophy||1
|15–18 April 2021||2021 World Team Trophy||1
|22–28 March 2021||2021 World Championships||1
|5–7 February 2021||2021 Channel One Trophy||2
|23–27 December 2020||2021 Russian Championships||1
|20–22 November 2020||2020 Rostelecom Cup||WD
|23–27 October 2020|| 2020 Cup of Russia Series, 3rd Stage, Sochi
|18–22 September 2020|| 2020 Cup of Russia Series, 1st Stage, Syzran
|24–25 January 2020||2020 European Championships||2
|26–29 December 2019||2020 Russian Championships||2
|5–8 December 2019||2019–20 Grand Prix Final||3
|8–10 November 2019||2019 Cup of China||1
|18–20 October 2019||2019 Skate America||4
|13–15 September 2019||2019 CS Lombardia Trophy||3
Small medals for short and free programs awarded only at ISU Championships. Previous ISU world best highlighted in bold.
|4–10 March 2019||2019 World Junior Championships||Junior||1
|13–14 February 2019||2019 European Youth Olympic Festival||Junior||1
|1–4 February 2019||2019 Russian Junior Championships||Junior||2
|19–23 December 2018||2019 Russian Championships||Senior||5
|6–9 December 2018||2018–19 JGP Final||Junior||6
|12–15 September 2018||2018 JGP Canada||Junior||1
|22–25 August 2018||2018 JGP Slovakia||Junior||1
|23–26 January 2018||2018 Russian Junior Championships||Junior||8
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